Retrospective Review – Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil: Revelations ~ General Information:

  • Developed and Published by Capcom
  • Released on February 7, 2012
  • Price: $39.99 (MSRP), $34.99 (Pre-Owned @ GameStop.com)
* This retrospective review is based on excerpts from my full review of Resident Evil: Revelations, originally posted on GameFreaks365.com. You can check out the full version of the review there, or continue reading for the summarized “retrospective” version.

Summary ~

“Resident Evil: Revelations is something of a “compromise.” The latest entry in the series is a blend of old and new, ultimately serving as one of the finest “modern” Resident Evil titles and one of the best 3DS games to date. It may still be more “action” than “survival horror,” but Resident Evil: Revelations is nonetheless fantastic, delivering a tense, beefy campaign and a terrific multiplayer component with the addition of Raid Mode. Think no less of it as a handheld game than you would if it were on consoles – Revelations is definitely the next chapter in the franchise, and serves as an important part of the story leading up to Resident Evil 6.”

…on the Circle Pad Pro:

“Revelations is one of the first games to support the Circle Pad Pro peripheral, but I never actually felt like it was necessary, and had no problem playing the game from start to finish without one.”

…on the puzzle- and problem-solving:

“Revelations brings back more of the classic puzzle- and problem-solving elements – it even forces you to backtrack every once in a while, though the map on the bottom screen prevents this from becoming an issue. In fact, other than getting lost a few times, I rarely had trouble making progress in each of the 12 single-player “episodes” (split into four chapters), and the occasional distraction from monster-blasting was actually pretty refreshing.”

…on the “survival-horror” game design:

“Some of the fundamentals of the classics have changed to the point that the “survival-horror” origins of the series have all but vanished from the design. Rarely are your “survival skills” put to the test – at any point in the game, you can carry up to three fully-loaded weapons, a fully supply of three or four different grenades, a melee weapon (knife, machete, etc.), and up to six green herbs. This is all in addition to the new “Genesis” device, which is used to scan the environment for hidden items, and to collect “enemy data” (which ultimately rewards you with more green herbs).”

…on the topic of past Resident Evil games:

“Revelations might feel more like an “action” game than the first three or four Resident Evil titles, but the settings (the rooms, corridors, and deck of the SS Queen Zenobia) and the level designs (cramped interiors, narrow hallways, twisted paths leading to dead ends, etc.) are actually very reminiscent of the classic games. As I said before, you typically encounter one or two “BOWs” at a time, and almost never more than four or five. Rarely are you swarmed or surrounded on all sides by your enemies; this was the idea that actually played a fundamental part in RE4 and RE5’s design, making them feel tense, claustrophobic, and chaotic. While the player may have been bombarded and swallowed up by hordes of undead, there was plenty of real estate to work with. In this case, Revelations feels a lot more like the Gamecube prequel Resident Evil 0 in that it forces you to deal with your foes in a cramped, cluttered, and claustrophobic environment.”

…on Raid Mode:

“As much as I have already said about the game design, the production values and CG scenes, and the story mode, Revelations’ Raid Mode is my favorite part of the entire package. Raid Mode supports solo play, but was clearly designed for local or online co-op. Ultimately this bonus mode feels like the game that last year’s Mercenaries 3D could have been, if it wasn’t essentially Capcom’s test-run for the Revelations design team.”

…on the console-calibur experience:

“I would like to point out perhaps the most impressive fact about Resident Evil: Revelations – at no point in my experience did I feel like the game was limited by its status as a handheld game. This is undoubtedly the 3DS’s crowning achievement in terms of production values, from the graphics to the music. In fact, some of the CG scenes look better than what you see in many console titles. Even the in-game graphics are the best on the handheld to date, showing nearly the same level of detail seen in Resident Evil 5, without any major frame rate issues. The clarity is simply amazing; overall the 3DS does a fantastic job of bringing the full Resident Evil experience to life on a handheld system.”

Scores ~

Design/Concept: (9/10)
Presentation: (9.5/10)
Functionality: (8.5/10)
Replay Value: (8.5/10)

Final Score: 9.2 out of 10

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